Did you know that every single one of us is born with an inner source that, if nurtured and cultivated by our caregivers at a young age, would’ve nurtured us to thrive with self-love?
This resource is self-trust. Think about it: every baby knows when she’s hungry and tired. Every toddler knows what he likes to eat and with whom he wants to socialize. As children, we grow up knowing ourselves — our rhythms, tastes and preferences. But because the “big people” around always told us that they knew better, we believed them and our true self-trust became buried.
Eventually, we became conditioned to seek the approval and guidance of others instead of trusting our own. As a result, many of us suffer from the symptoms of self-doubt: crippling indecision, constant desire for approval, perfectionism, and the fear of failure.
Not only does self-trust become buried beneath the belief that everyone else knows better than we do, but it becomes weakened by our constant desire to receive external validation. Self-trust sits like a precious stone at the bottom of the well of self. When the waters of the well of self are full — when you know yourself and trust yourself — you will love yourself.
In other words, knowing yourself + loving yourself = trusting yourself
We learn early on that if we do things “right,” we will receive the smiles of our caregivers and teachers — oh, how those smiles feel like warm sunshine to a young person’s developing character! When we seek validation in this way, it’s like walking around holding a bottomless bucket, waiting for it to be filled. While we may experience happiness or reassurance when someone gives us approval, these feelings are short-lived.
That’s why the bucket is bottomless: we could spend the rest of our lives climbing up a corporate, educational, creative, or social ladder. We could achieve everything externally that we ever thought would bring happiness. And yet we could still be left without the experience of true and sustainable fulfillment.
Healthy self-trust is like having an internal GPS: you know where yo go next, you trust your decisions both big and small, and you’re willing to take risks. You won’t fear failure or making mistakes because your sense of self didn’t originate externally.
Just as we don’t gaze upon our newborn baby and say, “I will love you if you attend Yale and marry a beautiful partner by the age of thirty and have a healthy boy and make tons of money,” we shouldn’t make the idea of loving ourselves based on conditions, and always dependent on external factors.
You are worthy because you exist.
Your self-doubt and perfectionism may be standing in the way of manifesting those gifts, but they’re always there regardless, like a river that’s always flowing, making its way from your inner depths out into the world.
Well-being depends upon self-trust.
Is it possible to learn how to trust yourself when you’ve doubted it your entire life? Absolutely. Self-trust has been yours from the beginning and still lives inside of you; unbroken and always full of light.
As with all areas of self-growth, the path of healing requires time, patience, and commitment. Change doesn’t occur in thirty days or three simple steps, but following these simple guidelines will help you redirect your attention from the external to the internal, and begin the process of restoring self-trust:
1.Start and end each day by reflecting inward.
This means that instead of reaching for your phone first thing in the morning, reach for your journal, book of inspiration, or just simply take a moment for yourself. Try engaging in a simple yoga or breath practice. When practiced every day, these actions will help you redirect the focus of your attention from external to internal and will transform your life.
2.Get to know your innermost self.
Embrace your form of intelligence, your temperament, and your levels of sensitivity. When you learn about the many forms of intelligence, as Howard Gardner brilliantly explained, you restore a piece of your self-knowledge and self-love, which restores your self-trust. The same is true with temperament and sensitivity.
3. Go on a Social Media diet.
If you struggle with caring about what others think, social media sites like Facebook and Instagram are guaranteed to amplify this struggle. It’s nearly impossible to go onto either site without comparing yourself to others in some way. If Facebook is a way that you communicate with friends, try picking up the phone instead.
Experiment with these suggestions for thirty days & see how you feel. I have yet to work with someone who didn’t notice a difference in their levels of self-trust and peace when they implemented these changes and learned to funnel their precious time and energy inward in nourishing ways.
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*In the name of full transparency, please be aware that this blog post contains affiliate links and any purchases made through such links will result in a small commission for me (at no extra cost for you).
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